Once again, I'm getting that weird whiplash feeling. I am in no way qualified to make this commentary, but I thought Homophobia didn't equal "I don't want that person to touch me" unless there's a "because they're gay" attached to it. (Correct me if I'm wrong, PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong, but "I don't want you touching me because I'm not attracted to you" seems to be like, a baseline for human rights.) Richard's issue doesn't seem to be "Ew, gay people". It seems to be that he's straight, and his sexual boundaries are continually and consistently crushed by Anita and Jean Claude, and he's starting to overreact because that's what continual traumatic experiences do. He never goes on a homophobic "Gays are evil" rant, he just says "I don't want that. I don't want that. Please stop, I said I don't want that. Please stop touching me. Please stop. PLEASE FUCKING STOP I HAVE ASKED YOU VERY NICELY" until he snaps and starts screaming--and even then it's still "I TOLD YOU I DO NOT LIKE THAT AND I ASKED YOU TO STOP." and not "OMG I HATE GAYS." And the only non-straight person Richard ever seems to interact with is Jean Claude, who has the sexual boundaries of an octopus. We don't get to see how he interacts with someone who isn't constantly shoving himself onto Richard. He has the exact same reaction to Anita. Anita is basically walking all over Richard's limits on a weekly basis, and justifying it because it's just Richard's homophobia. Yes. Richard not wanting to have psychic sex with a woman is his homophobia. Explain that, blog-readers. Explain that.
FYI that's a textbook abuser tactic. First, demonize a behavior you don't like, then crush it or ignore it somehow, then explain how justified you are in crushing said behavior because it's just a socially inappropriate reaction and your victim will become a better person for being repeatedly crushed. Bonus points for dressing it up in religion. "Oh, you're not being a good Christian right now because you're drinking, so it's okay for me to hit you/lock you up/do this other thing to do. I'm making you a better person." "Yes, Richard. Let me expose you to sexual situations you do not like because it'll make you a better person. It's not that you're not enjoying this. It's just your homophobia talking."
It's also rather interesting that even though this series is on an "It's okay to be gay" kick, it's apparently only okay when there's a woman (this being Anita) involved. Seriously. Name one gay couple in this series--ONE--that isn't villianized that doesn't involve Anita somewhere. Asher and Jean Claude? Anita. Auggie and Jean Claude? Anita. Asher and Narcissus? Oh, it's a bad, twisted, evil relationship and he needs to come back to the magic vag. Yeah, I'll find the bullshit with Richard to be something like active commentary on gay rights when gay people (or ANY people) are allowed to exist outside of Anita's sphere of sex and not be little demon people.
So the Cape Cod master and his oldest son show up at the door, and we get a few pages of Anita and Jean Claude's robes.
His is furry, hers is not. They're both black. Note how quickly Anita cooperated with Richard's request that she put clothes on.
Richard then takes the blame for what happened in the room. Because it's not enough for Anita to be a textbook abuser. Now we need to have textbook victim responses too.
“Some nights I hate you, Jean-Claude, but if I’d been with Anita tonight, touching her, Augustine wouldn’t have been able to roll her."If I stay with him, he won't drink as much." "If I put out, he won't hit me/the children". "If I do this, then the abuser won't do the behavior I dislike so much." Right. Richard wants out of this relationship bad, so anything that happens to the other people in it is his fault. And he's accepted this blame.
Folks, you are not responsible for what another person does. You are never responsible for someone else's behavior. It is their choice to do it. They can choose not to. You are not obligated to prostrate your life in front of someone else's addiction or sex drive, or political ambitions, or anything else. You always ALWAYS ALWAYS have the right to say no and leave.
But Richard basically says "I promise to support you guys and never leave again" and the chapter ends with Anita wondering how true he can keep to that promise. Because it's not like he isn't promising to cooperate with his rapist or anything.
Wait. He totally is.